Catching up with...Kathryn Maitoza

Publication Date

Kathryn Maitoza joined the Office of Admissions in January 2019 as the assistant to the vice president for admissions, financial aid and enrollment. As a Clifton Park native, she has fond memories of attending events at Proctors and hockey games at Union as a child.

Kathryn Maitoza in Watkins Glen State Park

Kathryn Maitoza in Watkins Glen State Park

“I distinctly remember seeing The Wizard of Oz, a movie I had watched dozens of times before, but there was something magical about watching it in a beautiful historic theater.”

After high school she attended SUNY Geneseo. She planned to major in speech pathology, but ended up graduating with a degree in sociology. Her senior thesis focused on the identity development of undergraduates.

“I went in my first year with a plan that got turned on its head after a course in linguistics led me to explore sociology, social psychology and cultural anthropology. For the first time, I was learning about the larger forces and systems that influence our lives, for better or worse. This foundation of understanding and my natural curiosity deeply influences my ability to connect with candidates and hiring managers as the talent acquisition consultant for Human Resources.”

Kathryn transitioned from admissions to HR in December 2022. She consults and partners with hiring managers to run searches to fill positions. She also works closely with the HR team on various programming, like new hire orientation, new employee welcome breakfasts and the new hire guide program.

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She lives in Ballston Spa with her husband, Van White, a CRM Advise administrator at Empire State University, and their cat, Arthur (also known affectionately as “Mr. Meowy.”) In addition to hiking, her hobbies include karaoke (Carly Simon’s "You’re So Vain" and the Rolling Stones’ "Beast of Burden" are top choices) and home improvement (she and her husband spent five months’ worth of weekends fixing up their house before moving in at the end of May). She considers March Madness (the NCAA Division I basketball tournament) the most magical time of year.

Some may be surprised to learn that though a native New Yorker, Kathryn identifies more as a New Englander.

“My parents grew up in Massachusetts (Fall River and Westport) and we spent many summers at the beach visiting family. There’s nothing like enjoying a stuffed quahog while cheering on the Red Sox. I said what I said!”

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: My calendar and the Weather app to prepare myself mentally and physically for the day.

GO-TO BREAKFAST: During the week I opt for yogurt with berries and granola or overnight oats. Weekends call for avocado toast with lots of cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, an over-easy egg, everything-but-the-bagel seasoning and a touch of sriracha.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ? I’ve been reading "The 5AM Club" by Robin Sharma in an effort to motivate myself to get back to the early morning routine I had in place pre-COVID era, when I felt my best.

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: Cultivate joy every day. I’ve instituted the practice of looking for “glimmers” on my commute, daily micro moments that bring inner joy and peace. Recent glimmers include siblings holding hands as they wait for the school bus, a shopper reorganizing the carts other shoppers left askew in the parking lot, a neighbor’s cat lounging in their driveway. It can be anything that makes you smile.

FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT: Local nature trails and the Adirondacks. Communing with nature clears my head and recenters me. I started a finsta @kathyhikes a few years ago and though I don’t post as often as I used to, I enjoy documenting the incredible flora and fauna right in our backyards. We are lucky to have high quality local trails. My top three favorites are Anchor Diamond Park in Ballston Spa, Bog Meadow Brook in Saratoga and Garnsey Park in Rexford. My favorite hike that I never get sick of is Moxham Mountain near Minerva. The foliage in the fall is incredible.

WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING RIGHT NOW?: I just finished “Who Is Erin Carter?” on Netflix and was impressed with the acting. Other recent favorites include “Beef” on Netflix and “Pokerface” on Peacock. I’m drawn to stories with dark humor, complicated characters, and a plot twist doesn’t hurt!

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: To play a song by ear, the coolest party trick ever. I also wish I could sing whistle notes a la Mariah Carey.

THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased): The actress Nathasha Lyonne, the late Betty White, and my late paternal grandmother Beatrice “Vovo” Maitoza because they’re all spitfires and I think we would laugh all night long.

FIRST CONCERT: The Beach Boys at SPAC with my parents in the 90s. At the time “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” played on repeat in my house and I remember being confused as to why the people on stage looked so old when they sounded so young on the album.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU: I played competitive softball and basketball growing up and spent many hours carpooling with Michelle Connors (now Union’s head softball coach) to various camps and tournaments. Full circle that we both ended up at Union.